Some of the 64 explicitly Internet-related companies on the 2000 Inc. 500 listare following a time-honored tactic of entrepreneurs with growing, young, privately held companies: They’re supplying emerging-growth markets rather than participating directly in them. A classic example of this type of business model is TechBooks (#173), which started out in technical publishing. Today, the company, which had more than $20 million in 1999 sales, processes content for large publishers who want Internet-ready versions of their work.
TechBooks isn’t alone in growing by addressing other businesses’ Internet needs. Scan the list and, in the top 50 alone, you’ll see companies offering e-business services (ePartners, #3), e-business consulting (Meritage Technologies, #15), and Internet consulting services (Thaumaturgix, #41).
Look a little further and you’ll see companies profiting from the general rush — among consumers as well as businesses — to get online. Logical Net (#47) sells Internet access not only to businesses, but also, through its Capital.NET subsidiary, to consumers. Meanwhile, Deerfield.com (#116) sells software designed to help both home and business users make the most of their Internet connections. The model of supplying growth markets isn’t limited to the Internet companies on the list. InfoNXX (#334) supplies the growing wireless phone industry with directory assistance services, while Cytomation‘s (#371) flagship biotech instrumentation product was developed for use in the Human Genome Project.
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